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Whey vs. Casein: Which One is Better?

Casein protein vs. Whey protein: What protein to take, when, and why. I’ve heard a lot from people regarding when and why they take whey or casein or simply get it from alternative protein sources. One I hear frequently is that bodybuilders eat cottage cheese or take casein before bed to prevent muscle breakdown while they sleep. The rationale is that casein is a “slow” protein whereas whey is a “fast” protein. But, is one source of protein better than the other? Is there a benefit from consuming whey post-workout and casein at other times? Let’s examine the facts. First, the bad news...

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24

Jun 2017

The 30 Minute Workout

Looking to build muscle and gain strength as fast as possible? Give this workout a shot. Strapped for time with only 30 minutes to get a workout in? Honestly, the first thing I’d tell you is to set aside more than just 30 minutes so as to not compromise your workout, but given you’re reading this article, you’re probably not interested in hearing that. Thus, the goal then is to focus your time and efforts on each of the buckets listed below, allowing you to maximize every minute of that half hour. Olympic or Explosive Exercises While fresh, the beginning of your workout is the perfe...

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5 Pillars of Nutrition for All Athletes

Regardless of how hard you train, increasing your strength is largely a function of what's in your diet. Most of the nutritional and diet mistakes athletes make revolve around three meals: breakfast, post-workout, and pre-bed. While these food choices have the largest impact on your athletic performance, there are a variety of other factors that need to be considered as well. Below we break down the top 5 pieces of information all athletes should know in attempting to train to their potential. 1. Eat a Big Breakfast I’ve heard all of the excuses: “But I don’t like breakfast…” “...

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The Nutrition Facts of Soy

Finally the record is set straight about soy, estrogen, testosterone... and moobs Soy is always a topic of controversy with men because of their unwarranted fear of one thing: the dreaded “moobs”. Yes, you read right. Man boobs. So what is soy and why should you care?? Well, the soybean is a great source of protein, which is very rare coming from veggies. Soy also contains isoflavones. Isoflavones are believed to mimic the hormone estrogen in the body, and are sometimes called phytoestrogens. And dudes, while the hormone sounds feminine, you naturally have low levels of estrogen. Even...

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22

Jun 2017

Preventing Knee Injuries

These three exercises will help you prevent any knee injuries you might experience when landing. As an athlete your ability to explode and to jump higher is crucial. When you think about jumping, what part of the jump appears to be most important? The take-off? The landing? Many athletes think it is their take-off but, believe it or not, the landing may prove to be the most important element because of its relevance to injury prevention, like ACL tears. Very rarely does anyone get hurt on the way up. Injuries usually happen when you land, right? Instead of putting all of your emphasis...

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The Best Exercises for Athletes

Adding these total body exercises to your strength training program will most definitely improve your athletic performance. Every coach working to improve athletic performance is looking to find the program with the highest return on investment, and the lowest risk of injury. I’ve written numerous articles about different exercises fitting that mold, many of which you’ll find my athletes doing. There are three however that I haven’t covered yet, and I consider these the most important general movements for athletes seeking to improve performance. They are the Pull From Hang, Hip Thrust an...

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21

Jun 2017

The Best Traps Exercises

A Joey Porter neck, or lack thereof, starts with these five traps exercises. Traps. Big ones. The reason why it looks like you’re smuggling two oranges in the top of your shirt.The reason why size large shirts will only hang to the top of your belt. The reason you’re actually going to fill out that wife beater this summer. Just like gorilla forearms, traps gives you “the look:”the look of a guy who hits it hard in the gym and never half asses anything. Maybe you thought the only thing you can do for traps was barbell shrugs. Wrong. That’d be like saying the only thing you can do for bi...

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Perfect Bench Press Technique

Building more muscle and gaining more strength may be as simple as improving your form on the bench press. I know I’ve been ranting and raving on here about this exercise and how you need to wait and do the other steps first. I’m right, and you know I’m right. It’s important to get stronger with the basic bodyweight exercises first, but as I’ve said with everything I do, I’m a realist. I know you’re still over there lying down on the bench and trying to push weight. I understand that’s what people do when they go to the gym. So let’s get into what you need to do to be safe and strong ...

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20

Jun 2017

The Road Trip Workout

No time for the gym? This workout routine will help cover your bases while on the road or at home. We’ve all been there. Whether you’re a traveling salesman, a college athlete, or a road trip warrior, there’s going to be a situation when you’re unable to get to the gym. Calm down and realize that it happens to everyone. Now while this may cause you to hyperventilate and completely freak out, trust that there is a solution for this workout predicament. If you’re looking for a quick bodyweight workout and movements that require little to no equipment to perform, look no further than this r...

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Top Ten Healthy Foods For Under a Dollar

Easy on the Dollar Menu! Here are 10 healthy foods that any healthy diet can afford. The first step to a healthy, fit bod: Removing processed foods from your fridge and future shopping excursions! For those of you who missed my last article, here’s a quick recap: Trans Fat (aka partially hydrogenated oils) are in foods you’d never expect like Jif peanut butter, Saltines, Cocoa Pebbles, Ritz and Ramen noodles (I could kick myself for the number of those I consumed in college) – and they’ll increase your risk of getting heart disease and cancer. Chances are if you’re a teenager or 20 someth...

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19

Jun 2017

Eat More, Burn More Fat

Diet tips to help you continually burn fat throughout the day. It’s 3pm, you’re staring at the clock. Again. Lunch was 3 hours ago, dinner is in the very distant future, and in between is a scrimmage, a presentation or maybe even more staring at the clock, g-chatting, and re-checking facebook. The only way to avoid the mid-afternoon energy crash, and to keep burning fat, is to be prepared. So, dig in to those pre-school roots and add in a little snack time! After all, even Lil Wayne, role model extraordinaire (sans that whole jail thing and affinity for getting “crunk”) recognizes the impo...

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How to Avoid Strength Training Plateaus

Not getting the results you're looking for in your training program? A better understanding of workout progression can get you off the schnide.  It’s important for all athletes to keep in mind that if you work hard, every training program will help you improve. However, while some programs work better than others, nothing works forever! Why does a program work and then stop working? Why do athletes plateau in their training? An athlete’s training age and the progression of his or her program are major players in this phenomenon. As we progress through this series, the goal is to get you ...

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Cooking With Pia : Chicken Stir-Fry

Episode 1 of Cooking With Pia features an incredibly simple chicken stir-fry recipe. Everyone needs a go-to dish. Make this one yours. Chicken stir-fry is a fast, easy, simple recipe that delivers a hefty portion of protein and vegetables. When paired with a bed of egg noodles or brown rice, you have the perfect post-lift recovery meal. It's like a good squat - targets all the right places and tastes oh-so-good. The best part though, is that it can be done in under 15 minutes, all in one pan.  So without further ado, here are the ingredients you’ll need: 2 Tbs. Vegetable oil 1...

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17

Jun 2017

How To Deadlift

Want to build strength and gain muscle throughout your body with one exercise? Read on. Ah, just the words make me happy. The grind and the battle mixed with the sheer absoluteness of it. You can either pick that thing up, or you can’t. Period. For that reason, the deadlift is one of the best measures of pure strength. Do it right, do it well, do it frequently, and you’ll be like everyone I know who can pull a lot: strong and jacked. Interested yet? Yeah, I thought so. But before we get you pulling 500 lbs you have to start with the basics. Below I’ll outline how you deadlift from ...

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Upper Back and Shoulder Exercises

Looking to gain strength, build muscle, and even improve your bench? Start with these exercises for your upper back and shoulders. It probably makes sense to start out by explaining that the upper body section of the posterior chain includes your upper back & shoulders, both of which are keys to great posture and deceleration of your arm during the throwing motion. They also play an important role in shoulder joint-stability & scapula function which can reduce your risk of rotator cuff injuries and shoulder separations. However, I think it should also be noted (especially for our “chest...

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Artificial Sweetener Side Effects

Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame are just plain confusing. Here’s a quick breakdown of the facts on sugar substitutes! To start, you should know that six low-calorie sweeteners have been approved by the FDA as safe for human consumption. In order of approval, they are: Saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), sucralose, neotame, rebaudioside A (Reb A). Cyclamate, another low-cal sweetener has not been approved by the FDA, and it is currently banned in the US. The product has been approved by over 50 other countries around the world, so you might want to think twice before ...

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16

Jun 2017

Dealing with ACL Surgery

Learn how this former member of the US Bobsled team dealt with his ACL injury. I consider myself lucky for the fact during that in my life time I have been involved in many different aspects of sports and athletic activities. There were years of basketball, soccer, skiing, snowboarding, triathlons, and finally, most recently, bobsled. I was lucky enough to compete and remain healthy, unlike many other male and female athletes. It was this year, 2010, that my luck seemed to run out. While training as the alternate for the Olympic Games for the US Bobsled team, I suffered my major knee ...

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Summer Nutrition Survival Guide

You're going to drink beer and have fun this summer. Follow these nutrition tips to maintain your diet throughout. The official start of summer and sunshine is upon us, ladies and gents. And this means lots of skin, surfing (or pretending), and booze-b-qing. So yeah, chances are your summer share house is like a scene from Animal House, and perhaps this is the first summer you're wondering why those lifeguards are, um, a bit younger than you always remembered. Find that cougar in you ladies (gents, stay away from the < 17 crowd), and make wise nutrition decisions when it comes to food and...

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A Review of Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence

Whether an athlete or non-athlete, bench jockey or superstar, this book's got mental toughness gems you'll find useful. It’s undeniably ironic that athletes like Tiger-in-the-Woods and Mark Mc-Roider-Gwire are amongst some of the less-than-exemplary role models used in Mack and Casstevens’ book, Mind Gym, but, at the time of publishing, who’d have thunk it? Maybe what their inclusion suggests is that the mental toughness (or mind strength?) necessary to play at the highest level cannot be faked (or distracted by nearby mistresses). As such, and on the heels of my review of Finding Your...

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What Are the Effects of Alcohol on Your Strength?

Ever wonder how your alcohol consumption effects your strength training and athletic performance? You’re far too competitive and focused to rage on nights before games or practice – but when a birthday or big win rolls around, it’s time to celebrate with a few drinks… and/or bottles… and/or Irish car bombs. Your coach would NOT be thrilled. But even if you’ve got nothing to do besides class (nap time) the next day, too many alcoholic drinks will still affect your strength and endurance well beyond your 24hr hangover. What gives? You’ve probably heard that alcohol consumption can have ...

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